The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is officially under new leadership. Michael Regan has been confirmed by the Senate as the 15th EPA Administrator through a vote of 66-34. Regan received significant support from the agricultural industry throughout the confirmation process. Ag groups had expressed enthusiasm for working with Regan in finding practical solutions to environmental issues.
“Regan’s experience and informed understanding of the value of state agriculture departments will contribute to environmental impacts that will be felt for generations,” National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Dr. Barb Glenn said in a press release. “NASDA appreciates Regan and the Biden Administration’s eagerness to work with the agriculture industry to develop agriculture climate solutions. NASDA looks forward to developing incentive and science-based policies with the Administrator to help agriculture and rural communities better adapt to climate change.”
While Regan largely received bipartisan support, there was some opposition to him becoming the new EPA Administrator. Some lawmakers expressed concern about his previous experience working for the Environmental Defense Fund and how that will shape EPA priorities. During his confirmation hearing, Regan said that “we can’t regulate our way out of every problem we approach.” Several members of Congress were pleased with Regan’s confirmation and believe he will bring fair and informed leadership to EPA.
“I look forward to starting a dialogue with him and his staff to ensure that EPA’s pesticide registration programs remain trusted and science-based, as well as on the role that the Renewable Fuel Standard and our agriculture producers have in mitigating climate change,” House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott said in a statement. “I also want to ensure that America’s farmers and ranchers have a seat at the table as the EPA considers their regulatory obligations and look forward to the appointment of the Agricultural Advisor at the EPA.”